Berkeley pushes to add cancer risk stickers on cell phones

Berkeley pushes to add cancer risk stickers on cell phones

  • Healthy living is a life style. It is about the environment you live in, the hair and skin care you use, the food you eat and water you drink.
  • Healthy living also includes the precautions you take to protect your well-being.
  • According to PewResearch Internet Project, 90% of American adults own a mobile phone as of January 2014.
  • Research on the effects of cell phone radiation on the risk of cancer has been controversial, but many studies are outdated.
  • Joel Moskowitz, the head of UC Berkeley’s Center for Family and Community Health, believes that cell phones are “one of the top emerging public health risks.” With the number of people who are using cell phones nowadays, and the amount of time they spend on them, there is a great risk of an increase in brain cancer risk, he said.
  • In 2010, the city of San Francisco made an attempt to add cancer-warning stickers on to cell phones, but was ultimately defeated in federal court. However, the city of Berkeley is now bringing up the issue again in court. If they were successful, Berkeley would be the first city in the nation to require these warnings on radiation-emitting devices.
  • Cell phones are a risk, and I believe the public has a right to information that’s credible, readable and understandable about the device they’re using,” Berkeley City Councilman Max Anderson told SF Gate. Anderson has a public health background and is one of the sponsors of this effort. “I’m not intimidated by the cell phone industry. The legal department might be, but I’m not,” Anderson adds.
  • San Francisco’s attempt failed because the wireless industry managed to use the argument that the warnings violated the First Amendment rights of manufacturers. Berkeley is taking a different approach by consulting a Harvard law professor to write the language on the stickers in a way that does not violate First Amendment guidelines.
  • If the law was passed, it would require cell phone retail stores to put warning stickers on all product packing warning that the radiation emitted from cell phones may cause brain cancer. Berkeley contains more cell phone users than most cities, because of its university, the Apple retail store, and many wireless shops. A law like this would be a big step in healthy living.
  • The wireless industry responded quickly with a four-page letter to the Berkeley City Council, stating that this ordinance violates federal regulations, and that this matter had already been settled.
  • Any attempt to place labels on cell phones or their packaging contradicts the clear message of federal regulatory agencies that have carefully considered this issue, which is that devices compliant with the federal standards are safe for consumer use,” wrote Gerald Keegan, who is the senior director of legislative affairs for a wireless trade group that represents the international wireless telecommunications industry called CTIA – The Wireless Association.
  • According to the wireless industry, cell phone radiation emission is way below federal safety regulations. They also added that no study has yet provided a direct link from cell phones to cancer.
  • The National Brain Tumor Society is not quite convinced. While a link has not yet been established, the danger “has not been ruled out, either,” stated The National Brain Tumor Society spokesman Tom Halkin. “Without conclusive results, the National Brain Tumor Society cannot say that cell phones cause brain tumors, and can only encourage continued further research into this topic,” he said.
  • Our rule is that it is better to be safe than sorry. So with that being said, let’s take a look at some tips to avoid cell phone radiation.
  • 1. Use a headset or speaker
  • Headsets emit much less radiation than phones. Choose either wired or wireless. Experts are split on which version is safer.
  • Some wireless headsets emit continuous, low-level radiation, so take yours off your ear when you are not talking. Using your phone in speaker mode reduces radiation.
  • 2. Hold phone away from your body
  • Hold the phone away from your ear and your body when you are talking. If you are using a headset, don’t put the phone in your pocket or clip it to your belt – put it in your purse. The amount of radiation absorbed by your head and body decreases dramatically with even a small distance.
  • 3. Text more, speak less
  • Phones emit less radiation when sending texts than during voice communications. Texting keeps radiation away from your head.
  • 4. Call only when the signal is strong
  • Fewer signal bars mean the phone must try harder to broadcast its signal to the tower. Place and take calls only when your phone has a strong signal. Radiation exposure increases dramatically when cell phone signals are weak.
  • 5. Limit children’s phone use
  • Young children’s brains can absorb twice as much cell phone radiation as those of adults.
  • 6. Skip the “radiation shield”
  • Radiation shields such as antenna caps and keypad covers reduce the connection quality and force the phone to transmit with greater energy, generating more radiation.
  • 7. Put your phone ‘on airplane mode’ when your children are around
  • It will help reduce radiation transmission. Do so when you sleep and try not to bring your phone in your bedroom.
  • Note: The content on our website is for educational purposes only. Please consult your health practitioner or a qualified expert.
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